Tegumai's Tales

Just So: Tegumai’s Tales is a music-theatre adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories for a contemporary audience. I’ve provided a libretto for composer Paul Ayres. The individual stories can be performed separately as mini-musicals, or altogether to create a full-length piece. Paul has also created a choral arrangement of some of the pieces. The work was selected as one of the three finalists in the North Cambridge Family Opera Company’s Composition Competition, 2013-2014. In 2015 The Crab That Played With The Sea was premiered at the University of West London (UK), and in 2016 Master Kangaroo was premiered by Bluegrass Opera (Kentucky USA).

Paul’s choral arrangement How the World Was Made was performed by the Queldryk Choral Ensemble in 2019. A video of the performance is here.

Breathing Under Water

The result of a long collaboration with artist Emma Ronay, Breathing Under Water is a collection of poems and photographs in conversation with each other. Over a couple of years, Emma regularly sent me a photograph which I responded to with text. Emma’s photographs covered a wide range of subjects, but this collection concentrates on our work responding to her images of water – mainly the surface of the Thames.

I would study each image closely, then try to write something very rapidly in response – almost like a verbal camera shutter. Emma’s photographs have so much space in them for the imagination to take root. The patterns, abstractions and ghosts that emerge from the photographs sneak into the text and in return, the text gives another thought or pattern to the image.

See the collection here:
BreathingUnderWater

Image by Emma Ronay

The Observatory

A multi-sensory opera for people who can hear and people who can’t.

Annie is an astronomer. She knows all about time and space, but she isn’t so sure about life and death. And she’s just gone deaf.
Inspired by the life of astronomer Annie Jump-Cannon, I worked with composer Stephen Bentley-Klein to create a new kind of opera that finds new ways of communicating and engaging with sound and music. The opera had it’s first outing at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2012, and a further iteration was performed at the Greenbelt Festival 2014.

We worked with D/deaf and hearing practitioners to ingrate BSL, captioning, sensory installations, missing live sound through water and other techniques to speak to hearing audiences about the experience of deafness, and to interpret sound into other sensory experiences for D/deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

More information about the piece can be found HERE.

Snowblind

Bringing together musicians and songwriters Jo Silverstone and Jeannie Skelly, writer, performance-maker and sound artist Sarah Grange, scenographer and visual artist Ellan Parry, and dancer-choreographer / live art practitioner Janine Fletcher, Sundogs is a cross-disciplinary adventure into artistic terra incognita.

Our first project is SnowblindPart music gig, part installation, part dance, part theatre, Snowblind is a voyage into multi-disciplinary story-telling and cross-practise collaboration. Wrapping together tales of Arctic exploration and heroic folly, Snowblind uses song, sound art, ice sculpture, scenography, script and movement to investigate a place to which we are all far more connected – and responsible – than we might realise.

Expect glacial meltwater, haunting song-scapes, flying ships, up-close interaction, extreme feats of physical endurance and conversations with the ghosts of walruses…

Inspired by the centuries of doomed attempts to find the North-West passage through the Arctic, we will embark on our own voyage, from the Journey of St Brendan to the Franklin Expedition, through the sub-zero, subconscious and subliminal.
Looking at a fragile landscape that preserves whilst itself disappearing, we’ll map out absence, loss, perseverance and myth. We are Lady Jane Franklin’s last rescue mission.